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From Our Desk

HOA Can Regulate Common Area

Kirk owned a home in a residential community that was overseen by a homeowners association. His property abutted one of a handful of lakes in the community. Legally, the lakes were regarded as common areas controlled by the association. When Kirk bought his home many years ago, the only recorded document imposing restrictions on his […]

Beneficiary Designations

Employees Are Responsible for Beneficiary Designations  The Federal Employees Group Life Insurance Act of 1954 (FEGLIA) establishes an $824 billion program providing low-cost life insurance for hundreds of thousands of federal employees. FEGLIA allows an employee to name a beneficiary of life insurance proceeds, and specifies an “order of precedence” providing that the employee’s death […]

Ensure Your Financial Privacy

 There is a federal law that affords consumers a significant say over the privacy of their financial information while still allowing financial institutions to share information for normal business purposes. This Act covers banks, savings and loan institutions, credit unions, insurance companies, securities firms, and even some retailers and automobile dealers that extend or make […]

Age Discrimination in Employment’

The combined effects of an aging population and a sluggish economy have led to an increase in lawsuits alleging age bias in the workplace. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) prohibits age discrimination in the employment of persons who are at least 40 years old. The ADEA covers most private employers of 20 or […]

“Cybersmear” Lawsuits

The free-wheeling give and take in various online forums is leading to more defamation claims by individuals and businesses. Given that so many online speakers are anonymous, however, Internet service providers sometimes become trapped between the speaker and his offended subject. Before the alleged victim can seek redress, the perpetrator must be identified, and providers […]

The Marital Deduction

The Marital Deduction: A Valuable Estate Planning Tool The federal estate tax marital deduction is one of the most important estate planning tools available to a married couple. The basic marital deduction rule is that, upon the death of the first spouse, the value of any interest in property passing to the surviving spouse is […]

Firm Founder Passes

Firm founder, Ellis B. Freatman, Jr., Passes Away With deep sadness, we announce Ellis B. Freatman, Jr., an attorney whom this firm was originally built around, passed away of natural causes on January 30. Mr. Freatman will be greatly missed, and our sincerest sympathies go out to his family and friends. Barr, Anhut & Associates, […]

ICLE Probate and Estate Planning Certificate

Firm associate Daniel J. DuChene recently completed the Institute of Continuing Legal Education’s Probate and Estate Planning Certificate program and received a Certificate of Completion. A comprehensive curriculum developed in cooperation with the Probate & Estate Planning Section of the State Bar of Michigan, the certificate program requires participants to attend ten seminars within three […]

John Barr Leadership Education Scholarship

John Barr, Leadership Education Scholarship, provides two more communities training for local officials The Michigan Municipal League Foundation recently announced two new recipients of the John Barr Leadership Education Scholarship: Brian Jackson, newly elected 4th Ward representative of Lansing City Council, and Caroline Kennedy, assistant village manager of Elk Rapids. From the MMLF press release: […]

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